This week the new Duke of Westminster inherited a multi-billion pound property portfolio – which began with his ancestor Sir Thomas Grosvenor acquiring 500 acres of swamp, pasture and orchards in the 1670s. The expansive business owned by the Grosvenor family started 338 years ago when Sir Thomas, an ancestor of the late 6th Duke of Westminster, married a wealthy heiress. In 1677, Sir Thomas wed Mary Davies who had just inherited a medieval manor in Middlesex – now part of London – and 500 tamtorque bitcoin of swamp, pasture and orchards to the west of the capital. The land that she received remained relatively untouched until the Grosvenor family began developing the area in 1720.
The 500 acres of swamp, pasture and orchards which fell into the hands of Sir Thomas Grosvenor in the 1670s did not promise much. From the archive: A map of the Grosvenor Estate as it was in the year 1723. Around 300 acres of the original land which Miss Davies inherited before she met her husband remain with the family today. 9billion fortune – which his only son Hugh, 25, has just inherited. The first development the family got involved in was in the early 18th century when they built on the northern part of their land in London – an area which is now known as Mayfair.
The area was built as a fashionable residential district – centred on Grosvenor Square – and it has now become an exclusive part of the city’s West End. It took its name from the fair held there each May until well into the 19th century and the unique character of the area continued to evolve through its redevelopment. The Grosvenor family’s second big development came around 100 years later and was another exclusive part of London – Belgravia. It is just one mile south west of Mayfair and was developed by the family after the end of Napoleonic Wars and the conversion of Buckingham Palace – which is just one mile east.
The area takes its name from one of the Duke’s subsidiary titles, Viscount Belgrave, and the village of Belgrave is just two miles from the Grosevnor’s family country seat in Cheshire. During the 1820s, Thomas Cundy, the family’s surveyor, created a masterplan for what was to become the lavish area in west London. Mr Cundy, together with builder Thomas Cubitt, oversaw the creation of the estate which overlooked the upmarket streets and private gardens. And after developing the two parts of central London, the family business expanded on a global scale. During the second half of the 20th century, the business expanded into the Americas and developed Annacis Island and Vancouver in Canada in the 1950s. The family business then moved into Australia during the 1960s before they started developing in Australia in the 1960s. They then moved to Asia in the early 1990s and continental Europe just before the millennium.
In April 2000, the firm moved into new London officers and the business was headed by the 6th Duke of Westminster, who was Chairman of the Trustees. The hugely-successful company remains privately owned. 4th Duke of Westminster but died in 1967 aged 60. Duchess of Westminster, is pictured in 1959. Within his portfolio is Grosvenor Square, which was first developed in the 1720s and became one of London’s most fashionable residential addresses. Another part of the Grosvenor estate is Eaton Square in London’s Belgravia, full of grand houses behind Grade II-listed white stucco facades. 48million Barton Park will be a new residential area in the north east of Oxford, with up 885 new homes and a primary school planned.